Most Evanston homeowners got their semi-annual property tax bills in the mail Monday, which makes this a fine time to compare tax rates here and in neighboring towns.

Tax rates get complicated, because of the multitude of special-purpose taxing districts in Illinois with boundaries that often don’t match municipal borders.

But here are examples of how your tax rate might compare if you were to move to cross the border to either Skokie or Wilmette.

For the bulk of Evanston residents who don’t live in a park district, this year’s combined tax rate is 6.801 percent of your home’s state equalized assessed value.

If you lived in Skokie in School District 68 and within the Skokie Park District, your combined tax rate would be a bit higher, at 7.018 percent.

And if you lived in Wilmette in School District 38 and in the Wilmette Park District, your combined tax rate would be somewhat lower, at 6.076 percent.

Of course your actual tax bill is based on the value of your home. And a home that looks like yours might cost more or less if it was located in a different town.

In 2000, the median price for a single-family detached home in Skokie was 25 percent less than the median price in Evanston, while in Wilmette the price was 50 percent more than in Evanston.

Portions of the tax rate are the same for all three towns.

We all pay the same rate for what’s shown as “County +” on the chart. That includes Cook County, the county forest preserve district, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District.

And township tax rates, while they are somewhat higher in Evanston than in Niles or New Trier townships, make up too small a portion of the total to be noticeable on the chart.

When you combine tax rates for city or village services, libraries and parks into “Municipal +”  across the three communities, there’s not much variation. Evanston’s subtotal is 1.364, Skokie’s is 1.394 and Wilmette’s is 1.33.

The biggest variation comes in school taxes. The combined rate for Districts 65 and 202 and Oakton Community College in Evanston comes to 4.634. The combined rate for Districts 68 and 219 and OCC in Skokie is 4.831, while the combined rate for Districts 39 and 203 and OCC in Wilmette is a more modest 3.948.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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7 Comments

  1. Non-resident owners paying resident property tax rates

    Maybe if the Assessors office was more diligent in making sure people who claim 'owner occupied' for their house or condo, really live there, taxes for real owners would be lower.

    I know one place where the owner has rented his place for five years and owns a house in Chicago but still pays 'Owner Occupied' Property tax rates.

    Does the Township or County ever check ?  Maybe phone versus their records ? Inspectors ? Duplicate ownership records?  The Assessor claims they value property correctly, but they don't even know who lives there !

    1. Assessor Office is a Waste

      It has long been known that the assessor office at the township level is a total waste of taxpayer money. They do nothing.

      The primary purpose of the county assessor is to give connected people large reductions in their home values to reduce their property taxes. Check out the assessor home values for lawyers and democratic politicians. Many others can get this property value reductions by hiring a politically connected lawyeIt has long been known that the assessor office at the township level is a total waste of taxpayer money. They do nothing.

      The primary purpose of the county assessor is to give connected people large reductions in their home values to reduce their property taxes. Check out the assessor home values for lawyers and democratic politicians. Many others can get this property value reductions by hiring a politically connected lawyer.

      If you do not get a property reduction in value, your taxes will go up a minimum of of the total tax percentage that is requested by the the different tax bodies. For everybody that gets a reduction in property value, yours will increase that much more. The total tax dollars are determined. The value of your home will determine how much of the tax dollars you will pay..

    1. Huge property tax hike

      My property taxes for a home in NE Evanston went up by almost 20% despite a slightly reduced county assessment  (not attributed to an appeal on my part)..but it  sounds like not everyone's did in Evanston.  Does anyone understand what the system is?

      My taxes have only gone up by small increments in past. I don't see a reason in the tax formula provided for 20% + increases!

      Can anyone explain what is going on?

  2. Unsustainable tax increases….broken government.

    Property tax bills really open your eyes to the fundamental disconnect between each of the governmental institutions in Evanston (city counsel, school board, etc.) and the citizens of Evanston.  Inflation is low, there's there been no wage growth for anyone other than government employees for several years and numerous service cuts across the city, but our property tax bills increased by 11%.

    To put this in perspective, if property tax bills increase by 11% each year, the amount you pay in property taxes will double in less than 7 years.   In 7 years, how may people in Evanston will make double what they make today?  How many people think they will be able to afford double what they pay today in property taxes?

    There are no money trees in Evanston, so every additional dollar we pay in Evanston to fund things like the township government and underperforming schools are dollars that residents won't have to spend on their mortgages, utilities, clothes, or children, new businesses that produce jobs or save for retirement.

    This should be a call to the ordinary citizens of Evanston to take the city back from the current leaders and find new leaders with the courage to institute serious reform to what is an unsustainable and broken system.  Importantly, this call for change is not about political parties or ideologies as these are all local issues that where there's more common ground than not.  Here's a quick list of where I would start:

    – Progressives:  If you believe that government can solve problems, you have to demonstrate it at the schools.  We spend more money per student than almost any other country and our results are consistently poor.  Doesn't this call for fundamental changes to our approach rather than more money?  Is it really a progressive system to pay an underperforming tenured teacher as much or more than the best teachers?  Isn't doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results what conservatives do?

    – Business:  How do we create a climate that attracts business to Evanston in a manner that does not involve tax breaks and incentives that are awarded to the businesses with the best lobbyists or that simply transfer the tax burden from businesses to the citizens of Evanston?  What regulation and tax changes that could be applied equally to all businesses will produce real business and job growth in Evanston?

    – NIMBYs:  Be honest.  You want a library tax because you want to be able to walk to your branch library.  You do not care about books for the poor folks down south or out west.  You want to close down the waste transfer station so your house is worth much more than you paid for it when you bought it next to a waste transfer station.  Maybe we can find an acceptable compromise but we probably never will as long as everyone knows you are lying.

    That's my tax bill created rambling.  Feel better now.  Have a great day Evanston! 

     

     

  3. My property tax went up 25%

    My property tax went up 25% also! How can this happen when my estimated value fell by so much? I am totally boggled and annoyed by this.

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